What's an Accutron ? (and SPACE Connections)
The Bulova Accutron was the world's first electronic watch. People sometimes refer to the Accutron as the worlds first electric watch. This isn't quite true but as it was the first to use a bipolar transistor it certainly deserves the former accolade. The first Accutron was manufactured in 1960 and was the watch chosen by some of the 'Original Seven' NASA astronauts to accompany man on his first journeys into space. Scott Carpenter famously modeled a Bulova Accutron 'Astronaut' on the front cover of Paris Match in 1962. Contrary to popular myth the Accutron only flew in space a couple of times on the wrist of an astronaut. It was not the watch chosen by NASA as the astronaut flight qualified time piece, this accolade goes to the Omega Speedmaster Professional. The Omega however was never (except in Apollo 13) used as the primary reference for any mission critical activities. Accutron movements were used in panel clocks and as instrument timers.
Even today there is still an accutron tuning for keeping time on the moon
'Tuning Fork Watches'?
Yes that's correct, the watch uses a tuning fork as its prime moving element. It is a well understood physical principle that the faster your initial reference the more accurate your time keeping will be. The most accurate clocks nowadays use the vibrations of a caesium atom as their reference. In the 1950s the best mechanical watches could rely on a prime moving element with a frequency of around 2 Hz (That is two 'beats' per second). Max Hetzel an engineer employed by the Bulova Watch Company of Bienne Switzerland designed an electrically excited tuning fork movement with a a frequency of 360 Hz. Bulova claimed an accuracy of 2sec per day or 1 min per month. This was the only movement capable of the accuracy demanded by spaceflight. Accutrons were used as time references in many satellites and also to control some of the Apollo moon experiments.The Tuning Fork Movement is absolutely unique in operation emitting a distinctive hum and featuring a sweep seconds hand. Here's a reproduction of an advertisement produced by Bulova in the early 1960s.
A vintage "Future Modern" classic one of the largest spaceview watches at 36.25mm, and 43mm Lug tip to lug tip.
Like the case main Fully signed screw down case back in Stainless Steel
Again a classy crisp with no signs of wear, these spaceviews are so cool that you can see and hear them working. with original white Tuning fork hands which stand out against its complex electromechanical background ,
DID YOU KNOW? these were never intended for public sale or mass production? the "NO DIAL" 214 movements were for watchmakers and jewelers display purposes (to showcase this NEW technology) but "CAN I HAVE THE ONE IN THE WINDOW?" arrose the inevitable popularization of the spaceview look and printed crystal.
The watch is all original features the original bulova printed crystal and original hands the luminous compound in this particular model is one of the best we have ever seen
Still all original the watch is sold with Its original bracelet and bulova signed clasp
We have mentioned the RISE of the accutron caliber and the spaceview watch BUT the demise! oh the demise of the accutron caliber is much more poignant, the watch is a "TRANSITIONAL" Caliber not cheap chinese mass produced "quartz" they evolved into but an intermediate age of technology quickly surpassed by cheaper quicker more efficient quartz and otherwise electrical watches BUT this ADDS to the value of these watches rare enough due to their Intermediate technological design and EVERY DAY these watches become rarer as parts are hard to find and watches get damaged. SO to find one in ALL ORIGINAL SERVICED AND RUNNING condition like this is a sure investment...
electronically controlled tuning fork